In Grammar By Daria

Designs to enhance the expressiveness of spoken English

Often there is a conversation we need to allocate specific information, to emphasize its importance and focus it on her companion. Of course, we can do it with the help of intonation, special words and even facial expressions.

Listen! You should remember it! — Listen! You need to remember this!

It is really important for you! — It’s really important for you!

But even in the language, there are special structures are called emphatics. They will help you to put emphasis on the logic of the statement, which has the primary meaning. In these structures we focus in today’s article.

It is / was … who / which / that

With this construction it is possible to emphasize practically any word or part of a phrase. Just enough to move it to the beginning of the sentence as soon as it is / was.

My brother is working in the garden. — My brother works in the garden.

It is my brother who / that is working in the garden. — That’s my brother now works in the garden. (focus on the subject to «my brother»)

My brother is working in the garden. — My brother works in the garden.

It is in the garden that my brother is working. — Just now working in the garden, my brother. (emphasis on the phrase «in the garden»)

Attention is drawn to the fact that when we focus on the subject, use the word union who / which / that. But if you select a minor part of the sentence, the two phrases are joined only union that.


Since the proposal with the words what, we tend to allocate extra. In Russian, there are also such statements.

What I need is a cup of hot chocolate. — What I need now is a cup of hot chocolate.

What I do not like is his character. — What I do not like is his character.

Naturally, we can not do without this structure, saying: «I do not like his character». But the use of the proposed reception what gives the words a great emotion.

Question word + ever

Questions of this kind are usually expressed surprise.

Who ever told you that I was getting married? — Who told you that I’m getting married?

It should be noted that the question which and whose words are not used in the design.

Whose idea was it? — Whose idea was that? (NOT! Whose ever idea)

You should also know that in this case the question words (everything except why) can be written as one word with the word ever. For example, «Whoever told you …»

Do / does / did + verb

With this structure, we can identify the predicate in a sentence in Past Simple or Present or in the imperative mood. To do this, we take the auxiliary verb do / does / did and put it in front of the main semantic that is used in the infinitive. In the Russian language, this feature translates the words «really», «accurate», «actually,» «certainly», «sure.»

She believes in ghosts. — She does believe in ghosts. — She really believes in ghosts.

Tom went to the restaurant. — Tom did go to the restaurant. — Tom exactly went into a restaurant.

Visit us at the weekend! — Do visit us at the weekend! — You certainly have to come to us on the weekend!

In all other times to highlight the verb-predicate is necessary to focus on the auxiliary verb (which is already present in the proposal) with intonation.

I am working hard. — I really work hard.

I have watered the flowers. — I definitely watered flowers.

It’s high / about time somebody + past verb

This design is typically used to criticism and expressions of discontent over what is happening. Usually it is translated as «long overdue, already it’s time.»

It is high time you found a good job. — You is high time to find a good job.

Negative verb + word with negative prefix

On the double negative has been said a lot.

  • But it never hurts to refresh your knowledge with our article Double Negative in English.

Grammatically correct one to use negation in a sentence: «There was not nobody at home». But if one of the negatives is formed without the particle not, but by the negative prefix, then everything becomes possible.

I can not say that I dislike it completely. — Not that I absolutely did not like.

His actions were not illogical. — His actions were not quite so, and illogical.

The crisis has been attributed, not unreasonably, to the Prime Minister’s weakness. — The crisis reasonably blamed on the weakness of the prime minister.

All that / the only thing

With this design, we distinguish in a sentence.

All that he cares about is money. — The only thing that interests him is money.

My dear fellow, intelligence is not the only thing! — My friend, do not deal in one’s mind!

Rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions — a great tool to attract the attention of the interlocutor. They do not require an answer, but only stress the emotion of the speaker.

Who do you think came yesterday? — And what do you think, who came to us yesterday?

They offered me forty grand a year. After that, who knows? — They offered me forty thousand a year. And then — who knows?

Such structures enrich our language, make it emotionally colored and bright. Do not be afraid to experiment! If you have already mastered the basics of grammar, you can easily build a competent and actively use the data structure emphatic in his speech.



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